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6 Mar 12
The new securities regime

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The Personal Properties Securities Act (PPSA) officially commenced on 30 January 2012 and is now in full force across Australia.

The PPSA introduces fundamental changes to legislation governing personal property securities throughout Australia.  It potentially impacts on any person or organisation who deals in personal property as part of their day to day business.  This might include financiers lending funds to be secured by personal property, manufacturers supplying goods on retention of title terms or businesses hiring equipment.

The PPSA aims to consolidate and simplify over 70 Commonwealth, State and Territory Acts regulating security in personal property by creating an online Personal Property Securities Register (PPS Register) on which all security against personal property must be recorded.  This database is available 24 hours a day and is accessible to any member of the public.

Parties are now able to record their interest in personal property by registering on the PPS Register.  Personal property includes both tangible and intangible property owned by any type of legal entity, and includes:

  • cars
  • crops
  • contractual rights
  • plant, and
  • equipment.

With this broad definition of personal property, the PPSA not only consolidates the existing laws it also opens up further types of transactions which will now be brought into the new regime.

Importantly, the PPSA relies on the concepts of ‘attachment’ and ‘perfection’ to determine if a security interest has been created over personal property.

Broadly this means:

  • A security interest must ‘attach’ to the item of personal property.  A security interest attaches to personal property when the grantor or debtor has rights in the collateral, or the power to transfer rights in the collateral and the secured party is given value or the debtor agrees to a security agreement under the PPSA.
  • ‘Perfection’ also needs to take place.  This means that the relevant security agreement needs to be registered on the PPS Register, or the secured party mush have possession or control over the collateral before a party can rely on the PPSA.
  • Ultimately it is vital for financiers and lenders as well as all registered owners of personal property to familiarise themselves with the PPSA to ensure compliance and to protect their rights.

For further information or enquiries please telephone 1800 353 425 or email adviserservices@mccullough.com.au.  

 

Focus covers legal and technical issues in a general way. It is not designed to express opinions on specific cases. Focus is intended for information purposes only and should not be regarded as legal advice. Further advice should be obtained before taking action on any issue dealt with in this publication.

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